Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Arwenna's New Blog

Well its finally happened - Arwenna has taken control of my life and now has her own blog over at Wordpress.
She has been talking about a number of things in her/my life including Koru, Herself (of course!) and in particular how her personality and identity has evolved over the last year or so.
You can check it out here - or from the Links sidebar.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Second Life takes over

Many apologies for not blogging for months!!! Hope to be back to it now! Second Life has completely taken over my first life and left me no time for anything. I will start posting about second life stuff shortly.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


After the best possible birthday present, Les and I headed off to Brisbane to catch up with old friends of his, Dave and Lucy. What awesome hosts they were too! I had ten days of almost comatose inactivity interspersed (!) with a few moments of computer helpdesk ! Back to the awful NZ summer again now and almost ready to take on 2007! Click here for pics of our trip to Brisbane!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My First Real Meeting in SL

Well - I have just come back from my first ever real meeting in Second Life - Quite an experience ! There were 12 of us there most of the time, although a couple cam e and went (Who was Felix by the way?! I never did find out!)

The first meeting of the EduIsland Management Group.

It was a little chaotic at first but Fleep got us all under some kind of control - we talked for 50 mins about a number of issues and got unanimous agreement on most of them. It was productive, hard work (keeping track of what everyone was saying!) and FUN. We identified some excellent chances for collaboration and networking and hope to get together every month or so for some workshops and seminars, as well as sorting out issues of common concern. A brilliant experience and thanks to everyone for making it all work!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Garden of Learning

Here they are at last - the first photos of the Garden of Learning - click on the image below to see more.

I am building the garden as a way to begin the exploration of second life as an extension of our teaching. So far I have had an excellent response from other people on EduIsland and it is on the list for the University of Oregon's tour. Eventually there will be various activities here I hope - not just places to sit and talk. I intend to replace many of the trees with NZ natives (but the saplings are in the greenhouse at the moment!) and to replace the American bird calls with tuis, kokako and the like (but I am just persuading them to sing for the microphone!).

Back to the wheelbarrow - heaps to do! In the meantime here is a copy of the welcome note that visitors to the garden recieve...

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
Nelson, New Zealand

In real life, NMIT is a polytechnic in Nelson, at the top of the South Island of New Zealand/Aotearoa. We teach all the usual kinds of things in the usual kinds of ways but we have an increasing number of students who are studying from a distance. So we use all the usual kinds of resources for distance learning - except this one!

One of things that we know is that distance students find the lack of contact with others isolating - and one of the things that we all value is the chance to sit around and chat with others, try out new thoughts and ideas and just chill out. Learning and studying is often pressured and stressful for everyone - that's why, to start with at least, we are building a garden rather than classrooms.

We hope that this garden will become a place where people feel free to come and hang out, meet others and talk about their work, their study, their ideas, their dreams, their lives..... We believe that quiet reflection, interesting, stimulating conversations and ideas exchanged with passion and an open mind, are fundamental to deep learning and those things tend not to happen in a lecture hall or a class room.

We hope that our Garden of Learning will provide an environment in which all the visitors to and workers on EduIsland will feel welcome, energised and refreshed.

Having a Second Life

The main problem, it seems to me, about having a second life is not confusion over the boundaries between virtuality and reality (although they certainly exist!) but that suddenly you need 48 hours in each day. I discovered second life about a month ago from an article in the Education Guardian and it has consumed a very high proportion of my waking hours ever since - and quite a few normally reserved for sleeping too!

This photo from second life shows me cooling off in the waterfall pool in the "Garden of Learning" that I am building for NMIT. Explanations of that in a later blog coming soon - as will more photos - maybe even a video! In the meantime, this posting is mainly to send my apologies if I have been neglecting you lately - now you know why.....oh and if you make it to second life yourself be sure to let me know!

Monday, October 30, 2006

My New Photo Gallery

For those of you who have been asking - well Bets anyway! Here is the link to my new photo gallery - just click on the photo of Jonk below and ENJOY!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Working hard - under the cherry tree

This is just to prove that Spring has finally arrived in Nelson......Better late than never - mind you the rest of the country doesn't seem to be so lucky!